Death toll for Syria and Turkey earthquake reaches 37,000


The Seattle Times

A photo of rescue workers on the rubble of a fallen building looking for survivors.

On the morning of February 6th a magnitude 7.8 earthquake struck Turkey and shook Syria, killing more than 37,000 people. Rescue workers are working non-stop in below freezing temperatures trying to pull people out of the rubble.

The earthquake had a magnitude of 7.8 and struck 14.2 miles east of the city Nurdagi in the Gaziantep province of Turkey. The quake hit with a depth of 14.9 miles or 262 football fields lined up.

Map that shows where the earthquakes hit in Turkey and Syria. Photo by BBC

At least 89,926 people across Turkey and Syria have been injured by the earthquake with 1.3 million people being displaced from their homes and 24 million people across both countries being affected. The earthquake is the worst natural disaster Turkey and Syria have seen in 2 decades.

In Turkey it is estimated that at least 1 million people have become homeless. In Syria it is estimated that 5 million people are homeless and are now living in tents and are at risk for facing another disaster as cold winter temperatures and snow can lead to worsening conditions. Because of the below freezing temperatures, many families are staying in churches, shelters, cars, public parks and in the ruins of the fallen buildings.



A Rescue worker in Hatay, Turkey takes a break with dogs. Photo by The Washington Post

Even 200 hours after the earthquake hit, people are still being pulled out alive. On Sunday, February 12th, an 11 year old child named Lena Maradini and a woman named Naide Umway were rescued from the rubble after 160 hours of being trapped

The death toll is expected to keep increasing as the hours pass by. While people’s hope for finding survivors lessens, more focus and attention is being brought to those who survived; hundreds of thousands of humanitarian aid and response teams are arriving in Turkey to help however they can.